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2011 Vargellas Vinha Velha
The winter preceding the 2011 harvest was wetter and colder than the 30-year average. Budburst occurred as usual in mid March and warm weather and rainfall in April produced vigorous growth. At the beginning of May dry conditions set in and there was little rainfall in eastern areas of the Douro until late August. However the vines were able to draw from the plentiful ground water reserves built up during the previous winter and bunches developed and ripened in ideal conditions. Véraison occurred a little earlier than usual on 15th June. Mild weather in June and July was broken only by a heat wave in the second half of June.  August was hot and dry, with perfectly timed rainfall on 21st August and 1st September rounding off an excellent ripening season and producing a well balanced crop.

Quinta de Vargellas, in the Douro Superior, was the first Taylor property to start harvesting on 10th September.  Here as elsewhere the crop showed high sugar levels balanced by excellent acidity.  In the Pinhão Valley, harvesting starting at Quinta do Junco and in the upper part of Quinta de Terra Feita on 14th September and in the lower part of Terra Feita the following day.  Fermentations were long, allowing balanced and complete extraction, and musts displayed intense colour and powerful fruit character from the outset.
Key Stockists
Tasting Notes more {+}
Intense purple black colour. As usual with Vinha Velha the wine delivers multiple layers of aroma and flavour. The nose is marked by a complex fruitiness, blending aromas of blackcurrant, plum and blackberry. This is overlaid with nuances of dark chocolate, exotic wood and black pepper and a mantle of delicate floral scent. Although the nose is expressive, there is plenty of depth and background hinting at aromas still to emerge with time. The palate is in perfect balance and supported by a ...
Tasting Notes
Intense purple black colour. As usual with Vinha Velha the wine delivers multiple layers of aroma and flavour. The nose is marked by a complex fruitiness, blending aromas of blackcurrant, plum and blackberry. This is overlaid with nuances of dark chocolate, exotic wood and black pepper and a mantle of delicate floral scent. Although the nose is expressive, there is plenty of depth and background hinting at aromas still to emerge with time. The palate is in perfect balance and supported by a dense weave of sinewy tannin. A burst of fresh berry fruit flavour lingers on the finish.
Accolades more {+}
Jancis Robinson
01-05-2013
‘may just be the finest wine produced anywhere in the world in 2011’ Actually not as deep purple as some. More deep crimson. Complex and wild nose, sort of biodynamic kind of profile. There's...
Richard Mayson
01-05-2013
Wonderful purity of fruit, already fragrant and expressive; firm, long and linear.
Neal Martin, Erobertparker.com
01-05-2013
As a reminder, the Vinha Velha is a selection of old vine fruit from the old vineyards at Vargellas. Comparing it directly with the Taylor’s, there is even more complexity and volume on the nose, wi...
96
Accolades
Jancis Robinson
2013-05-01
‘may just be the finest wine produced anywhere in the world in 2011’ Actually not as deep purple as some. More deep crimson. Complex and wild nose, sort of biodynamic kind of profile. There's something burgundian and devil-may-care about this wine. It's lovely for drinking already. How on earth are they going to persuade people to hang on to it?? The sort of singer who doesn't obey any rules; just belts it out and doesn’t mind whether the orchestra keeps up or not. Transparent and very distinctive.
Richard Mayson
2013-05-01
Wonderful purity of fruit, already fragrant and expressive; firm, long and linear.
Neal Martin, Erobertparker.com
2013-05-01
As a reminder, the Vinha Velha is a selection of old vine fruit from the old vineyards at Vargellas. Comparing it directly with the Taylor’s, there is even more complexity and volume on the nose, with blackcurrant, dark plum and a more accentuated crushed stone aroma that lends it wonderful terroir expression. Like the Fonseca, it develops compelling marine scents after 30-40 minutes in the glass, like stepping over rock pools when you were a kid. The palate is medium bodied with sumptuous, sensual ripe tannins that layer the mouth. There is a palpable sense of harmony and composure to this Vinha Velha and there is a lot of horsepower, more so than the Taylor’s, on the multi-dimensional finish. The intensity of fruit means that it does not quite have the same degree of tension as the Taylor’s, but the depth and breadth of this young Port suggest it will be a seriously long-term fortified wine.
96
James Suckling
2013-05-01
Very pretty pure fruit on the nose: crushed berries and minerals with a licorice and graphite undertone. Full body, medium sweet with chewy tannins that are polished and firm. This shows balance and harmony, but remains powerful, muscular and toned. 11,000 cases produced of this foot-trodden wine.
96
João Paulo Martins
Monumental wine, full of concentration, richness of fruit, great elegance in the mouth, with a silky texture, discrete fine tannins and a soft long and full finish. Sheer class that is almost disconcerting.
20
Taylor's